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Do you think Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should grant clemency to Sara Kruzan?

December 8, 2010 | 10:48 am

In 1994, when she was 16 years old, Sara Kruzan murdered the man who'd forced her into prostitution at age 13. She was tried as an adult, convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. In an editorial from Wednesday's pages, the board argues that Kruzan has been a model prisoner and deserves the opportunity to appear before a parole board. (In the 2007 video, above, Kruzan tells her story as well as what she’d say in a parole hearing.)

The board also argues that Kruzan's case points to a larger issue:

She also serves as an important reminder of why sentencing juvenile offenders to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is backward and counterproductive. Science and society have learned more in recent years about the still-immature and rapidly developing brains of adolescents […]
That's why the Legislature should pass a bill that was reintroduced this week by state Sen. Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) after being rejected in August. The modest legislation would allow courts to review the cases of juveniles who were sentenced to life without parole after 10 years, possibly reducing their sentences to 25 years to life. […]
People, especially teenagers, have the power to change. They can become better people.

Here’s the whole editorial.

-- Alexandra Le Tellier


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